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Webley-Scott Model 1913 MK-1N .455 Royal Navy Contract Pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Von der Goltz, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    Here for comparison is the contemporary British Webley & Scott automatic (self-loading) pistol which was adopted first by the Royal Navy in 1912 (first deliveries weren't made until April 1913) after Small Arms Committee testing against both the Colt .45 ACP Military Model 1905 and Colt Model 1911. This type pistol also saw service with the Royal Naval Air Service, Royal Flying Corps/RAF, Royal Horse Artillery (with adjustable sights and modified safety) and private purchases by Army officers (although it didn't perform as well in the muddy trenches due to fouling and jamming). This Webley-Scott .455 1913 MK1 Navy automatic pistol serial number 3800 was 1 of 1919 (serial numbers 3691-5609) delivered to the Royal Navy in December 1914. Close-up photos show the (19)14 acceptance date above the Crown/GR on the frame and breech-block, the serial number, the broad arrow property mark on the grip. Eventually about 7000 saw service in the Royal Navy, about 500 in the British Army and some 500 with Australia. Most Government contracts were completed by late 1917 with a few more delivered in late 1919. These pistols also saw service in WWII with the Royal Navy

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
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  2. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    Here's Commander C R Samson, standing beside a single seat Nieuport 10 aircraft with this type pistol in his hand about to start on a mission over the Turkish lines in 1915. Commander Samson commanded No. 3 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) Wing, based on Tenedos Island, which took part in the operations at the Dardanelles. The pistol is quite distinguishable by the boxy breech-block and exposed barrel.
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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
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  3. tark

    tark Member

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    A very nice piece. You seem to have a lot of "nice pieces". Thanks for sharing them with us. How does that thing work? Is it a short recoil system or a simple blowback?
     
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  4. tark

    tark Member

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    Just googled the thing and answered my own question; short recoil:D
     
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  5. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    ere's a WWI Royal Navy issue holster for this pistol. Close-ups of flaps show Royal Navy Broad Arrow property/acceptance marks. The number 4344 is probably a pistol serial number.
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  6. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    Contemporary parts diagram for the pistol:
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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
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  7. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    They fire .455 Rimless ?
     
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  8. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    You have a very nice example of one of the ugliest handguns ever produced.
     
  9. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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  10. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    Here's a 7-round packet of WWI ammo dated 1 January 1919 which contains 1917/1918 head stamped rounds.
     
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  11. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    Here's a close-up of CDR Sampson holding this type pistol.
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  12. Monac

    Monac Member

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    In my mind, that title has always gone to the CZ-38. Which was also ludicrously oversized for a 380, but that didn't matter very much, because the trigger mechanism did its best to make sure you couldn't hit anything. And reloads were slow, because it hung on desperately to the empty magazine. Easy to clean, though, which I guess they figured was a key quality in a gunfight.

    The Webley .455 auto is also very pleasant to take apart and put back together - everything just fits beautifully.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
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  13. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    Here's the 1912 ammo pouch for this pistol showing how the 7-round magazines were loaded into the pouch and close-up of Royal Navy Property mark.
     
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  14. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    more photos
     
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  15. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    After years of searching for a spare recoil spring I found this cache of spare parts on Ebay recently, probably a rare find since it also includes a slide, barrel etc. Now I can shoot this pistol a few times with less worry about replacement parts if needed.
     
  16. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Nice pistol! I've never seen one "in the flesh".
     
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  17. paulsj

    paulsj Member

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    In Europe one can find these for very reasonable cost. For example .380 verson of above that was personal weapon of Winston Churchill sold at an English auction for about
    5,500BP. For comparison Walther PP that belonged to high ranking NSDAP official sold for over $80,000 in USA.
     
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  18. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    I always thought they were steampunk cool.:)



    And for me the ugliest pistol was this monstrosity-
    07jul12pistolrangeday03.jpg , with honorable mentions to this-
    IMG_1874-660x439.jpg , and this-
    20190202_195413.jpg .:D

    You always bring us the coolest stuff, many thanks!
     
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  19. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    Esthetics is a personal matter until a poll is taken, even then what matters most is the eye of the beholder. The OP pistol has a very interesting lock design, and it surprises me that no one copied that aspect, it's simple and looks durable.
     
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  20. Monac

    Monac Member

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    My understanding is that the breech-locking mechanism in the Webley .455 self-loader, although simple in concept, was much more difficult to manufacture than the Colt-Browning swinging link design. At least, Webley manufactured it to very tight tolerances. One complaint about the gun, as I understand it, is that it was too tightly fitted, and would not tolerate dirt. OTOH, I would have thought this would have been tested for in the British Army's lengthy acceptance process.

    Also, in a recent article in a magazine devoted to military surplus firearms, there was an article about Webley automatic pistols in which the author said that the Webley breech-locking mechanism greatly reduced felt recoil. This is not something I had heard before. I will try to remember to bring the magazine and report on it more fully soon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 8:41 PM
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  21. Von der Goltz

    Von der Goltz Member

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    Here's an original manual which shows with take-down instructions and parts list. Webley1.jpg Webley2.jpg Webley3.jpg Webley4.jpg
     
  22. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    ".455 High Velocity " :) :) :)
     
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  23. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    "The Mk 1 cartridge's bullet headspaced on the rim. It was loaded with a 224 grain cupro-nickel-jacketed bullet with a muzzle velocity of 700 feet per second"
     
  24. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I love that they thought it a selling point that it was "capable of being used as a Single-shot Pistol enabling the shooter to fire singly, keeping the Magazine in reserve for emergency." LOL!!

    "I say Reginald, my loyal batsman, do be a dear and place this single tin of beans on that fence post, for I wish a spot of target shooting. No, don't fret dear companion, I shall be operating my Webley as a single shot only. We shall keep the entire magazine in reserve in case the hun breaks through through at Hooge or Polygon Wood. There's a chap."

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  25. Monac

    Monac Member

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    The magazine article I mentioned above turned out to be less recent than I thought. It was "Rapid Fire Champion" by Jim Dickson, on page 54 of the "Inside Military Surplus" magazine issue for Winter/Spring 2016.

    In it, Mr. Dickson says "The director [of Webley and Scott] was intrigued by my assertion that this turn-of-the-century semi-auto does not move perceptibly when firing. The downward motion of the barrel unlocking counteracts the upward muzzle blip so the gun basically stays still in your hand while firing. It is effectively recoilless....After he [the director] shot it he said 'I didn't believe you when you said it hasn't got any recoil, but it doesn't." (This event took place in 1975. Mr. Dickson relates that the W&S director simply turned to a worker and ordered him to make up some ammo.)

    Mr. Dickson goes on to say "Today, the .455 Webley automatic remains the fastest firing automatic pistol out there. Only a submachine gun is faster, and you will get more hits with aimed rapid fire that the Webley delivers with such ease....the Webley automatic offers you a significant advantage over all other powerful pistols."

    Has anyone else heard this? Has anyone here ever fabricated ammo and fired a Webley 1913? Or fired a Webley 38 ACP automatic? These are much rarer than the .455, but the ammo is more available (although I think the major makers stopped loading 38 ACP 20+ years ago).

    Because if this is true, competitive shooters should be having Webley-type autoloaders custom built in .45 ACP or .45 Super and winning every trophy in the world. Somebody built a batch of .45 ACP Lugers about 25 years ago; the same thing should be possible now with Webleys.
     
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